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Should I Wait to Sell my Home?


As the real estate market continues to soften and market transactions become stagnant many home sellers are questioning whether they should wait to attempt to sell their homes. Certainly, if sellers listen to media reports, it would seem as though it is not an ideal time to attempt to sell a home. While current statistics may not indicate that now is a good time to sell, some home sellers are finding that it is not as difficult as they thought to sell their properties. In many cases, ease of selling in the current market depends on the type of house you are attempting to sell, the location and the condition of the house. How well the house is priced for the market can also play a large role in how long it takes to move the property in existing market conditions.

Many sellers question whether it would be better to wait and put their property on the market during a particular time of the year. Traditionally, spring has been the season in which properties tend to move the fastest. Along the same lines, the end of summer tends to see a far lower volume due to families readying their kids for the back to school rush. As many prospective buyers return from vacation in the fall, there is frequently a small surge during that time of year. Although a seasonal pattern can be detected to some degree, it must be pointed out that these rules are not hard and fast. Factors such as the supply and demand of properties in your local area and the state of interest rates can impact how well properties sell during a particular time of the year.

The inventory of home for sale in your local area can be one of the biggest determining factors in how well your property may perform if you do elect to place it on the market. While the surge in inventory around the nation has been an indicator of slowing conditions across the nation, there are still some pockets where inventories have not risen as high. In these areas, market conditions are likely to remain active provided interest rates remain somewhat low.

Therefore, it is a good idea to investigate your local market to determine whether there is a current glut of properties before you place your house on the market. When examining the local market be sure to consider the number of properties that are in the same price range as your property. Keep in mind that while there may be a glut of higher end properties, your property may still have a chance of moving relatively fast if there are not many properties available in the same price range.

If you are located in an area where the inventory is rather large then you will likely find it more challenging to sell your house. As home buyers recognize there are plenty of properties from which they can choose in these markets and thus feel no real urgency to buy immediately. They often feel they have the luxury to wait until they find a home that meets their exact needs.

A significant drop in interest rates could prove to ignite home buyers who have been waiting; however. If buyers recognize a golden opportunity to purchase a home that is well priced while obtaining a low interest mortgage, activity could pick up. Without the stimulus of a low interest rate and/or a low inventory; however, home sellers will need to provide some type of incentive in order to motivate buyers.

Such an incentive could include paying a portion of the buyer's closing costs or dropping the sales price. If you are not in a position where you feel you can currently offer either of those incentives then postponing a sale may be an option worth considering. Economists have predicted the housing market could see a turnaround sometime in 2008 or 2009; however, these predictions cannot be guaranteed. It is entirely possible the market could dip even further before an improvement is seen.

If you cannot wait until the market improves, take the time to make sure your home is in excellent condition, study the market to know what you are competing against and price it carefully for the existing market.

You may also see improved results investing more money in selling tactics such as having the home professionally staged for an open house. Work closely with your agent to determine which advertising techniques may provide the most benefits. In today's slow market, sellers who are motivated to sell may need to become more active in the marketing of their properties. You can read more home selling tips in a cooling market here!


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